Check-in injury at immigration control costs UKBA over £5K

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A UK Border Agency employee has won a damages claim against his employer after he fell from an unstable chair at his check-in.

Slip Trip Fall in the Workplace

The official had been standing for about 10 minutes processing visitors through the Immigration Control department at Gatwick Airport.

As the queue cleared, he sat down on his chair, which suddenly tipped to one side. He put his arm out to protect himself, but in so doing he jarred his back and chest and fell to the floor.

The accident, which happened on in May 2011, resulted in a soft tissue injury to the official's chest, as well as an injury which exacerbated an existing lower back condition. A subsequent medical examination prescribed treatment from a chiropractor, forecasting full recovery after around 12 months.

Examining his furniture straight after the accident, the man noticed that one of the 4 legs was missing its castor, which had destabilised the chair and caused his fall. On later instructing Simpson Millar, he also advised us that some of his colleagues had noted similar incidents at their check-ins.

On his behalf we wrote to the Home Office Border Agency seeking compensation. Among various health and safety shortcomings, we alleged that the defendant had not made a suitable assessment of risks to our client's health and safety at work; and had failed to ensure that his work equipment was maintained in good repair.

The defendant made an initial offer of £3,250. However, we rejected this and successfully negotiated a final personal injury settlement of £4,000, with £1,615 in 'specials'.


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